Curaçaoan documentary Sombra di Koló wants to break taboo on color


A post by Peter Jordens.

Dick Drayer of Caribisch Netwerk NTR reports on a new documentary called Sombra di koló [Shadow of Color] that premiered in Curaçao on September 24, 2014.

In the documentary thirty people from five Curaçaoan neighborhoods explain what color and race mean to them. With this film, anthropologist Angela Roe intends to break the taboo that applies to color in Curaçao. She made ​​the documentary together with producer Selwyn De Windt and camerawoman Hester Jonkhout as a byproduct of her doctoral research at the University of Florida.

“For many people, talking about color is something you just don’t do,” says Roe. “But people do think in terms of color,” De Windt adds. When looking for new projects as a filmmaker and producer, he often has to prove that he understands the business. “I do this subtly by mentioning the white people with whom I have worked.”

The film shows that having a light skin color has advantages. “And that’s the thorny issue in the debate,” says Roe. “White people usually don’t have to think about their color. Their color is always the right color. The response of white people – in the film too – is therefore often that the discussion is exaggerated or passé. You see this in the debate about Black Pete and in the discussion about slavery. In my film I want to show that color is still a determining factor in the opportunities that people have, for example on the labor market.”

For the original article (in Dutch), go to

For more about Sombra di Koló, including the trailer, visit (fully in Engish).

The documentary is in Papiamentu and Dutch with English voice-over and subtitles.

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